An image of Matter painting

Ralph Balson

(Australia 12 Aug 1890 – 1964)

Matter painting

Other titles:
(Matter painting)
Not on display
Further information

Ralph Balson is renowned as one of Australia's leading abstract artists of the mid twentieth century. Through his rigorous and disciplined approach, Balson demonstrated his single-minded pursuit of pure painting.

This painting belongs to his series of 'Matter paintings' produced in the early 1960s. In his 'Matter paintings' Balson employed fluid and automatic techniques of pouring and trailing paint on large boards. He allowed the paint to slip and bleed across the board's surface. At times the paint would coagulate in heavy layers which cracked or rippled as they dried, creating textural effects.

During his first trip abroad in 1960, Balson saw first-hand the most recent forms of contemporary painting. He visited exhibitions of American minimalist and hard-edge painting; however it was the work of the European Tachists and textual painters such as Burri and Tapiès that made the strongest impression on him.

synthetic polymer paint and concrete on hardboard
67.4 x 88.4 cm sight; 81.7 x 103.0 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pale grey synthetic polymer paint "R.Balson.61".

Gift of Chris and Susannah Turle 2013. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Estate of Ralph Balson